The Darlings #02

My second session in The Darlings series was in a gorgeous park I discovered in North Brisbane. One morning, I drove around six old favourite spots hoping to be inspired…. but over the years the plant growth had changed and I just didn’t feel they were what I was after.  I then went exploring along another park I’d photographed at once before and it was there I found the perfect spot.  This session saw me with 22 girls, a gorgeous series of garlands (from The Bloom Collective) and a bevy of doves brought along by White Wings Doves.   I was certainly exhausted by the end of the short session, but it was a lot of fun xx a gorgeous bunch of darlings!

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The Darlings #01

As any creative knows, when your business is birthed from an original hobby, it’s important to keep your passion fresh. Thankfully, the majority of my work is in line with my love of family, fun and creativity so I don’t have to reignite it often. But every now and then I get an idea and if I can’t incorporate it into one of my client’s sessions,  it sits with me until I bring it to pass.  This project “The Darlings” is one of those ideas.. it’s all about the beauty of friendships, a big bunch of girls, fun things they love, pretty hair and dresses, and sunlight in the garden to backdrop it all. My limitations for the sessions were one location per session, only 30-60 minutes to shoot group shots and a portrait each with a limited number of props and inclusions.  They say you’re crazy to work with kids and animals, but I think it’s one of the best combos out there! Each of the girls involved will receive a beautiful portrait of their own to keep forever. I’m thinking I’ll do more of these in the future, we had such a blast together. I met over 50 gorgeous girls in three different sessions and each one was as beautiful as the next!  Over the next three days I’ll showcase each session. This is the first.  Enjoy! x

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Let’s explore! [family photography]

It’s been a little drizzly in South East Qld this week (poor long weekend campers!) but hopefully the next few days will bring more weather like the skies at this gorgeous session from a few weeks ago.  There is something quite magical about being by the sea.  My own little family has a favourite past-time of heading to the nearest river, seaside or ocean to relax and explore. No goal in mind but to walk,  talk, breath the fresh air and see what gems of nature we find.  From toddlers to teens (and the parents too) it’s nice to get away from the hustle and bustle, leave the technology in the car and get your toes a little dirty. The outdoors have a wonderful way of soothing the tiredest and grumpiest of hearts. Hope you have an amazing weekend!  Maddie xx

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Beach fun! [family photography]

Family portraits are fascinating. If you never have them done, you’ll probably never know what you are missing. You might see other peoples photos and think they are nice but that it’s probably not for you. And that’s okay, cause you’ll never know. You see, they are something that become valuable only AFTER they’ve been taken. And that’s a privilege I don’t take for granted (and that makes my work so fun!).  It’s like I’m treasure hunting on behalf of you. To capture what you don’t see when you’re just hanging out together. I’ve had many families tell me how much they adore their images and how they love to see them around their home in the midst of a busy life. And when I think about it, I guess that’s my main goal at all family sessions – to create images that sooth your soul, that take you back to that happy place that is your family at it’s best. I love it!  Today’s feature is a sweet crew who were visiting the Gold Coast from Tasmania this month on their annual holiday (mum is also the talented creator of Mooi Handmade).  We began our session with a little walk and scooter ride followed by sandcastles and fun at the beach. Coastal bliss at it’s best. Enjoy!

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a lovely wonderland [brisbane family photography]

Choosing to specialise in newborns and young families has been the most wonderful decision!  I am meeting so many gorgeous families and sometimes I have to pinch myself to believe that work can be this much fun. As a photojournalistic photographer, I love to capture honest family life – sweet old good times together, doing what you love.  Most of the time this means a relaxing morning at home, a trip to the local park or an exciting adventure together, but every now and then it’s a family session with a bit of fancy thrown in too!

A vintage, whimsical styling suited this family perfectly as they spent the morning playing together and enjoying a picnic.  After first meeting them in 2010, this is our fourth session and as the family grows, they just keep getting sweeter!!   Enjoy x Maddie

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our happy places [brisbane family photography]

The thing that I love most about lifestyle family portraits, is that there are no rules. You can make your session as simple or creative as you like. You get to wear the things you love (whether thats jeans & T’s or something quirky or extravagant). You can have your session in a place you adore (perhaps that’s your wonderful home or maybe somewhere that you’ve been hoping to visit together for months). You get to do the things you love to do together (from pancakes at your kitchen bench for breaky, to visiting the organic markets, to an adventure at a sideshow alley). YOU get to choose. And you get to have a great time as a little family where the focus is only on having a fun together. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a mum and daughter, or parents with a wild big brood of kids, whatever your story is, that’s what I want to discover. It’s about you, being you.

This sweet family desired to have their saturday morning family tradition captured.  When they are all up and dressed, they head off for a walk together to their local reserve. They explore and have fun. They watch the ducks swim and find cool sticks and rocks to play games with. They laugh and giggle together. Then they finish their stroll with babycinos and coffees at their favourite local cafe.  It’s sweet, pure fun at it’s simplist.  It’s a story that is theirs, memories that will remind these parents of the time when their little ones were young. And as the years pass, they can share these beautiful moments with their children – showing them the very beginnings of their family traditions.  It’s family.  It’s good fun.  I love it x Maddie

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Amy & Walter, 74 years of marriage [brisbane]

As many of you know, my quest to find Brisbane’s longest married couple was a personal project I embarked upon in January. It’s a project that I have been meaning to do for a number of years but kept putting off because I was ‘too busy’. Well, 2013 is the year where I want to stop putting off some of the non-urgent things in life, so this was one of the first on my list.  When I put out the word that I was searching, I didn’t know who would respond and what kind of years I would be finding. My husband’s grandparents in NSW have been married for 66 years, which is an amazing achievement, and I thought perhaps there might be a couple who had beaten that.
I had quite a number of sweet couples in their 50th and 60th years and then when I received an email from one couple’s grand-daughter I realised that my dream had come true to surpass 66.  And by quite a long shot I might add!  Walter and Amy have been married for 74 years. Yes, married for 74 years!  And they themselves are 96 and 97 years of age. It was such a pleasure to meet them! As I sat with them for a cup of tea, you wouldn’t have known their ages. They were a spritely pair and I had a wonderful time with them, hearing their story and laughing with them.  Most of us could only wish to be that switched on and joyful at such an age!  As I talked with them I realised that perhaps that is what has kept them going so long. The laughter. People say joy is the best medicine and I can certainly tell you that they both enjoyed chatting and sharing their story. Amy was the talker and Walter was much quieter but would occasionally share a funny story or a cheeky grin which I loved.
They had met each other in the 1930’s. Amy was heading to an Ambulance Picnic (seaside festival) with a few friends, one of whom was Walter’s sister. As the girls approached the group of young men, Walter poked his head out from under a truck he was working on to say hello. Amy says she immediately thought “Ooh, that looks nice!’ as she looked at Walter (her words exactly!).  And so she persued Walter and he ‘let her walk around on his arm”. Their first date was a trip to the movies at the Regent Centre in Brisbane. She thought Walter was very good looking and organised everything for them to court.  When they got married in 1939 they began life with just two shillings and themselves. They spoke a lot about starting with nothing but themselves and then building a life around that.  Perhaps there is a secret in that, when we love each other and choose to be together for nothing but ourselves (not wealth, or status or any material thing) a bond can be formed at the deepest level.  And then everything else becomes a bonus.
Their greatest achievement they say, is in staying together.  It was a proud moment when they received a letter from Queen Elizabeth congratulating them on their 70th anniversary (Walter is keen to receive his 100th birthday card in a few years too!). They worked hard to create a good life and home for their three children. And family life has been their greatest joy too. Amy remembers the arrival of her firstborn like it was yesterday.  It was so amazing to see the excitement in her eyes when she told me what it was like to hold her baby girl in her arms for the first time, she recalled it as if it were yesterday.  And it was interesting to hear her refer to her youngest boy too – “he is my baby, I still call him that, even though he is 68!”
Care seems to be a big key for these two. Care for each other, care for their family, care for their home. Walter cares for Amy. Every morning he cooks her breakfast and cares in practical ways. Amy cares for Walter.  She dotes on him and calls him “Love”.  When asked what they would say to someone young in marriage and family they said “You have to take the good with the bad. You have to try hard at marriage”.  They’ve realised that anything worth having is worth investing in. They’ve made a point never to go to sleep on an argument or let things fester.  Amy says “don’t be selfish” in your marriage. Walter says “don’t give up” when things get tough.
It’s amazing the thought that if two people put each other ahead of themselves and believe in the bond of marriage, something wonderful can happen.  Enjoy a little peek at this sweet couple. I am so pleased to have met them, I only wished I could have stayed longer!  xx  Maddie

 

merry christmas & a little giveaway

Just a quick but meaningful note to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and all the best for the beginning of the New Year! 2012 has been an amazing (and full!) year for me and as I begin my focus primarily on portraits, I am very excited to start a year of even more wonderful people stories. A special and beautiful thank you to all of my portrait, wedding and commercial clients from this year, it has been TRULY delightful to meet each and every one of you. I feel honored that you let me into the most precious moments of your lives and allowed me to capture your story xx  so thank you xx

Also, in the spirit of giving, I would like to offer a giveaway!  I cherish the fact that my photography surrounds me with some of the most beautiful times in life and I know that for many others this isn’t the case. Be in their work industry or just the hard seasons of life.  So for this reason I would love to give away one session as a sweet etta photography gift, to pass on the love. The session can be any type – pregnancy, newborn, baby, child, family, couple, fashion portfolio or individual.  It will include a 30-60 minute session in North Brisbane during January, an online private gallery of 20 images, two linen print display sets and a disc of your ten favourite digital images (valued over $500).  To enter the draw, please leave a sweet comment of any sort below and make sure you include your first name and email (only your first name and comment will show below).  I will draw a winner by RANDOM selection from comments at 12pm on Christmas Eve (noon) and then email the lucky person/people to let them know.  All the best to you and I hope this will bring a little piece of joy to someone’s world who truly needs it xx

As I close off for 2012, I send much love to all and also ask that you too do something kind for a stranger this Christmas – just for the sake of old fashioned goodness!  Pay for a strangers fuel. Cook your neighbour a meal.  Tell someone in customer service what a great job they are doing. Let a car into your lane even if it means you’ll miss the lights.  It keeps your heart rather happy and you never know whose world you may change.  So for now farewell,  I will be returning to work on January 7th and will respond to all emails in date order on my return.  See you in 2013!  x  Maddie

Louise & Ryan (Bangalow Wedding)

I met Ryan and Louise earlier this year and clicked with them from the moment we met (as I do with all my lovely couples!). Hearing them talk about their wedding plans and how they wanted their guests to experience the day was exciting to my love of all things fun, vintage, quirky and creative.  At the time they were both living in Perth, so the next time I saw them was mid year for their engagement session (see it here as featured on Polka Dot Bride!). After the session, I knew the time we spent together was just a taste of the fun I would have capturing their wedding day love story.
Their wedding (10/11/12) was to be held in the region behind Byron Bay, within the quaint town of Bangalow.   After a simple ceremony under the trees, the reception was planned to be an outdoor celebration with games on the lawn and an evening under the stars and pretty lights. However when nature decided it was meant to be a rainy day, Louise and Ryan went with the flow, and quickly took their ideas and recreated it all inside a quaint hall.  This would have been no mean feat considering the detail of their day, but they had amazing family and friends who helped move their outdoor wedding celebration to an indoor one – and it still had the perfect atmosphere!
With one of my talented second shooters Josh Weier by my side, we captured their perfect day and the story that was their wedding.  We truly had a blast with them and enjoyed every minute!  From the delightful details in atmosphere, to the activities for guests, through to the absolutely delicious catering by Fig Tree Restaurant (and Louise’s mum’s special dessert bar!) everything had been thought of.  I especially loved watching the relationships between guests – beautiful speeches, thoughtful words and loads of fun dancing!  As quite the travelling duo, at present Louise and Ryan are crossing the Nullarbor and heading to Brisbane.  I can’t wait to see them in January before they then begin an eight month trip to Africa, America and Europe – loads of fun adventures ahead!  I hope you enjoy this peek at their day x Maddie
Note: I am no longer shooting large weddings from Jan 2013 but am available for intimate ceremonies, registry weddings and vow renewals. I also specialise in family portraits, individual sessions and couples session, so if you like what you see, please drop me a line and I would love to chat x

 





into the woods…[brisbane family portraits]

When I shoot a family portrait, I approach it like I am a ‘fly on the wall’. I want to come on an adventure with your family, where you all just ‘be you’. I want to follow you while you do something fun together. Go to the beach. climb a mountain. Visit the library. It might be a tradition you’ve done for years or it could be a new experience you want to take together. Whatever it is that tells the story of your family, that is what I want to capture for you.
For this cute family, the plan was a sunset picnic in a forest. The talented mummy, Tash of Whimsy Petite Styling created a gorgeous vintage picnic ‘look’ for her family and together they shared afternoon tea, read books and played hide and seek within the forest. It turned out to be a bit of a teddy bears picnic for the girls and they had lots of fun giggling and telling me about their little friends. It was also nice for mum and dad to have some images together too – aren’t they gorgeous?
While this shoot was more of a styled glamourous shoot, you can really take your ideas any way you want to. It can be styled like this one (Tash is available for bookings to plan and style your photo shoots), maybe something adventurous like a mountain hike or it can be even as simple as a morning spent at your place – pikelets, pillow fights and snuggles on the couch with your kids favourite books. The awesome thing about these type of ‘lifestyle’ shoots is that you don’t need to be afraid – because you can pick something that makes you feel relaxed. You can have fun and enjoy the time as this season of life is captured for you (and generations to come). I can’t wait to meet you.